Patient-focused healthcare initiatives critical to boost quality of care
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Patient-focused healthcare initiatives critical to boost quality of care

For any organization, IT planning must begin with focus. If businesses don't know what they need to achieve through their solutions, they will be severely limited in their potential to achieve desired results. In recent years, the healthcare industry has been placing a major emphasis on how they can leverage IT tools in order to streamline operations, cut costs and ultimately improve quality of care for patients. 

HIMSS Media recently announced that it is launching Future Care, an online community for healthcare news and thought leadership. The outlet will focus on many topics relevant to the medical community, including the place of IT in today's hospitals, by integrating news from established sources such as Healthcare IT News and Government Health IT. IBM will also be a major participant in the Future Care community through its Smarter Care program.

"A focus on the individual, as well as the vitality and sustainability of the area in which a person lives, is instrumental in the transformation of care globally. We have created this site to spark conversation around care collaboration and the usage of information to nurture improvement in quality, safety, outcomes and cost," said Danielle Hartley, senior vice president and publisher of HIMSS Media.

It's no surprise that IBM will be among the IT leaders participating in this new initiative to create better strategies for medical treatment. The technology company noted recently that it has launched a new care coordination pilot program with the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS). The efforts, powered by IBM's Smarter Care offerings, will address the organization's need to better harness its big data to treat the population of Catalonia, Spain.

According to IBM, ICS needs to be able to integrate many sources of patient data in order to gain better insight into each individual's condition. This is especially important because of how many people require treatment in the community – 60 percent of Catalonia's population older than 65 suffers from chronic diseases. With better IT tools, ICS will be able to create more individuals' care plans and facilitate collaboration among medical and social services providers.

Each year, some countries spend as much as between $6 billion and $29 billion on healthcare-related expenses, the World Health Organization noted. In order to both reduce costs and boost patient outcomes, medical organizations must be aware of how IT services can help them achieve critical goals.